Fashion Week is Dead. Long Live Fashion Week!

Good afternoon, Friday. TGIFFFFFFFFF.

So NYFW came and went and at the beginning of it, I remarked on Facebook that I felt the clothes were so stupid and ridiculous and to be honest, a ton of them were. But towards the end of the week, the usual suspects like Michael Kors and Ralph and Tom Ford came out with runways full of women that fit the brief of what I've known to be Fashion Week my whole fashion geek life- a long runway, models, a posh, aspirational crowd with Anna Wintour, celebrities, and big buyers like Linda Fargo from Bergdorf Goodman. And Marc Jacobs, who always ends Fashion Week, provided eye candy that delighted all of us who want to see him win. And win he did- with a dizzying array of kooky looks that celebrated individuality with his signature chic and cheek. Lovely.

Almost as genius as his show was this amazing review of it in the New York Times, written by Vanessa Friedman. Of course, she gushed over the Marc show, but she also showed me how the new version of Fashion Week should have us all rooting for fashion again. And if fashion is and always has been a barometer for the times, then it stands to reason it needs to evolve and change. And it has.

From the article:

"The gravitational forces of New York fashion are moving; its map is being rewritten and identity reinvented by a group of designers with a different sense of history and voices that demand to be heard. The conversation about race and power and gender is reshaping how we express ourselves and who understands that best".

So very true- the piece goes on to talk about how fashion is no longer about the ladies who lunch or "Wall Street wives" but an experiential, youth and creative-driven moment that speaks to fashion being more of a creative formula than just about the clothes.  It's about the shows that felt more like parties where young people could express themselves, however they identified or related or wanted to present to the world. And it's high time for it, truly. Because maybe it's less about fashion defining us, and more about the people defining fashion. Which is wonderful. 

And as Friedman states at the end of her piece:

"...what makes it American is not its roots in blue jean utility, but the fact it is free of the restrictions of heritage that make it so hard for European brands to change. It reflects the freedom of reinvention that the American promise was built on. It’s disruptive and messy and happy to color outside the lines. It’s not yet fully realized, but it is on its way".

So let the Europeans do their shows and let us gawk at the clothes and the models for their elegance (incidentally I too will gawk). Over here we're busy shaking some shit up. As a huge fan of style as a form of self-expression, I love this watershed moment in culture. Hooray for fashion. Hooray for New York. Hooray for young people demanding change. America is at it's best when we challenge the norm and reinvent culture. Let's keep going. Cause that's what's up this fashionable Friday in the 718, Yours, in changin' times and hemlines. XO

Maven Pick: The Only Vegan Leather Legging you need this Fall/Winter

Good morning Thursday this will be a quick hit as I'm a busy bee today.

I'm fairly certain I've shared my love for Emerson Fry, a fashion favorite brand of elevated basics made right here in NYC. I love their cool cred and classic/rock and roll vibe. I got an email from them this morning about the release of their vegan leather leggings for Fall, and I have to tell you- if you buy one thing this Fall, buy these. (You'll obviously need a top and shoes too, but you get my drift).

Their vegan leather leggings are a cold-weather go-to for this maven. I literally buy two or three pairs so I can wear them all season and switch them out.  I love to wear them with sweaters and blazers, and in place of tights under dresses for a cool look. I'm not sure if these are exactly like the pairs I have from last season, but I've been stocking up on these for the past few years since they've been making them and they are perfect and always a home run. They fit true to size and really have the feel of real leather. Link to buy here.

Go get yourself a pair, girlies. You won't be sorry. Fall is almost here, even if the NY weather says otherwise.

Cause that's what's up this quickie of a Thursday in the 212. Yours, in pleather report realness. XO



A Classic New York Weekend

Aloha, Monday. I say aloha because I had an anxiety dream last night about losing a gig and not being able to get to Hawaii (no idea) and being very sad about it. So aloha again.

This weekend can only be described as quintessential New York City. 

Was I prancing through Central Park, enjoying a late Summer day with my dog? Was I shopping for stylish sweaters in Soho? Or was I boozy brunching somewhere fabulous in Brooklyn? Um no. Not really.

Because instead, I was robbed on Friday night. Yes, robbed. Outside of my apartment hangs a set of hooks where my raincoats (including a Burberry trench) resided, and my husband's beautifully broken in Belstaff. Plus my cycling shoes and a sweet, giant beach bag I picked up from Target. We were home, watching a movie, and when David went to take Khan for a walk around 10:30, he returned to find the hooks picked clean. They left my wellies and all the shoes in the basket but took a bunch of outerwear. An outerwear thief. Bizarre. When the cops came, it was like central casting. Two beat cops who asked me why I had such expensive coats hanging outside. One of them called my Burberry a Blueberry. The sergeant who showed up later was a poor man's Michael  Peña, who could not understand why I needed so many fancy raincoats. He had a point, I suppose. As they left, I awkwardly thanked them for their service.
  
I live in a brownstone with one apartment on each floor, and I have no idea how anyone could have gotten into my building which is entirely secure, but they did. It's completely nuts. And horrible.

And then as we attempted to heal, Sunday rolled around and it warm and lovely, so we decide to take K for a walk in our neighborhood. That's when, at around noon, we found a HUGE crow, or perhaps a raven. Just sitting on the sidewalk and not moving. He was standing like a stone next to a parked car which, of course, had to pull out. It was a mother and son, and the son kept throwing Terra chips at it. No dice. No chip could move this poor injured bird. He/she couldn't fly, and both of us couldn't leave a sick animal in that state. We called a million vets and then found a place on the Upper West Side that rescues birds and other winged types. And then we took matters into our own hands. Literally. 

David being the scrappy Kentuckyian that he is found a banana box with holes in it and shooed our bird friend (let's call him Amity since we saw him at the corner of Amity and Clinton) into the box and I ran and got an old towel to cover it up, as per the recommendation from the Audobon Society (thank you Google). We then got into our car, Khan on my lap, and put the box in the backseat. 

I can tell you I have been in many panic-inducing experiences in my life, but few have ever made me feel more heightened than a dying bird flailing around in the back of my car. Or maybe it was when he stopped moving halfway up the FDR that I started feeling like I was going to throw up. Did we kill the bird? Turns out we didn't. But that was a long 45 minutes to get uptown. Possibly the longest of my life. I'm scared of birds a bit, particularly giant black crows. Apparently, they are sacred animals in many cultures, so think we did a real mitzvah.

When we got to the rescue, which incidentally, was not some sort of sanctuary but a storefront on Columbus Avenue, I exhaled for the first time in several hours. I stayed outside with the dog as David took Amity inside. He told me the space was insane- full of chickens and turkeys walking around and an abundance of birds. Kind of my nightmare but thank goodness for these bird lovers. Truly. We'll get an Amity update tomorrow, ps. Stay tuned. Incidentally, I ran into a work friend just outside the bird spot, and she seemed nonplussed by it all. It's tough to shock a New Yorker. Even with a giant crow in a banana box in the back of your car. True story.

Needless to say, I slept in and skipped the gym this morning. I feel like I've been run over by a truck. Robberies and rescues require relaxation. I'll need to catch up on that next weekend. Let's hope for a little less excitement. And I pray it won't rain. Because I no longer have the proper attire.

Only in New York, kids. Only in New York. Cause that's what's up this keeping it together kind of Monday in the 212. Yours, on a wing and a scare. XO


Don't ever say this to me.

Good morning, Thursday. It's been a minute since I've written here but I miss you and I miss it and I want to get back to our regularly scheduled program. I'm in the process of retooling this whole thing as you know, so stay tuned for that. 

So here's something. This past weekend I had a magnificent time at the beach with my sister. It was a glorious weekend and we laid in the sun, played Skee Ball, ate, drank, and generally had a lovely time. I've enjoyed my time at the Jersey Shore this Summer so much and I've been getting in a bit of a groove there when it comes to finding my favorite spots to eat, drink, and work out. 

One boutique gym, in particular, caught my eye as it had a class called "Power Barre" so I gave it a whirl earlier in the season. The class itself is taught by one of those women that could be 40 or could be 70. Her abs were bonkers good and she was a shouter. You know the type. I hate to be yelled at when I work out. Well, in general really. I don't respond well to yelling. Know that.

But the class itself was challenging and a little scary but I made it through, even though I vowed to never do it again because all of that Type A weirdness mingled with the uppity vibe of the other chicks in the class had me all meh. Also, the fact that for two days after that initial class, my right IT band was screaming in pain.

So here I was on Labor Day Weekend, conveniently forgetting the torture and signing up for another class with the treacherously taut one.

I thought the class was at 8:30, so I arrived at 8:20, only to find out it started at 8:15. As I quickly put down my things and took off my sandals, the male owner of the gym, looked me straight in the eye and said:

"Do the best you can".

Come again? Really? On what planet are you, sir, that you think it's ok to say that to me? Sure he may have been well-intentioned, but don't do that. Just don't.  Why was the assumption that a)I would do anything less than my best or b)I somehow wouldn't be able to hang with these Real Housewives of Margate, New Jersey? FUCK.

I couldn't help but wonder if he would have said this to a man- how many adult men have ever been told to do the best you can?. Or if the fact that I'm almost 50 that this comment bothered me more than it would have when I was 25. Needless to say, that set the tone for the class. Incidentally, I did really well for my 2nd time with this quite extreme workout, where the young girl next to me kept saying throughout "Oh God. Oh God". That's after the teacher told us a story of how two girls left her class because they were intimidated by the fact that "everyone in there looked like models". OMG. Who says such a thing?

But back to the initial source of my woe. 

Don't ever tell a woman to "do the best you can". Just don't. It's almost as bad as "calm down".  This is most important if you are a man. But in either instance, it's condescending and pretty shit. 

Because if I am at the beach and I am choosing to go to an early gym class vs. sleeping in or catching some rays, then clearly I am there to get it done. And I don't need anyone to backhand me into it. Or assume that I'm not going to make it through. I always do. And I always will.

And no, I won't calm down.

Cause that's what's up this keeping it real kind of Thursday in the 212. Yours, in giving it my all. XO




MTV aka Meh Television: Thoughts on last night's party

Good morning, Tuesday. Looking forward to a long weekend coming up. I know it's only Tuesday but still.

So last night was the MTV Awards and man, it really was something. And not a good something. Here's the thing. MTV is mine. And belongs to my generation. I feel some proprietary love for MTV because I was raised on it. My generation is actually often called the MTV Generation, so when they do awards shows I still have to watch them. But what's clear to me now is that the network is irrelevant. Completely. Or I'm irrelevant. Completely.  Whatever of those two poisons is picked, it's true. I just can't believe how shite it all is now. 

As a lifelong music lover, the link between style and music has always been a revelation.  I'm aware that this is pop music and lacks any kind of cool kid cred, but for real? Why did everybody have to look so awful?

Why are all the women so hypersexualized? Being vulgar isn't sexy. Or at least it's not to me. Cardi is but one example but there were many others. Make it stop. Please.

And why did they hold it in New Jersey? No offense to Jersey, but Jersey? I think the Jo Bros got the brief, ps. They looked straight out of the Sopranos.

I just wonder what happened to real, sexy style cred in the music world. Almost all of my fashion inspo comes from rock and roll or punk or funk or soul or disco. What's changed? 

Thank goodness for MIssy Elliott ps. Yes, she can still work it. And flip it and reverse it. Amazing. At 48, she knows a thing or two about what makes a great awards show performance. Because she's one of us. Her performance was the most buzzed-about of the night- watch it here and learn, children, learn.

I don't know but I'm bummed and I no longer want my MTV.  So awful all around. But leave it to Missy to show us how great it used to be. Oh but kudos to Rick Ross for stepping out in a Gucci bathrobe. I'm not mad at it.

Cause that's what's up this post-awards show Tuesday in the 212. Yours, in video killed the radio star. XO




I'll have what she's having: Julianne Moore KILLING IT

Good morning Friday and TGIF. 

I got my September In Style in the mail last night and all I have to say is that women of a certain age are having a bonafide moment. My fear is that this is a fad, but I'm hoping not. My girl Amber is all over the issue, but the star of the issue is absolutely Julianne Moore. A transcendent redhead and gorgeous woman. PS- she's 58. I asked Alexa. 

Her beauty is just astounding. And her in one of my favorite fashion looks of all time, that Tom Ford silk shirt and velvet pants. I can't.

I have no idea what she's done to her face, but whatever it is, I'll take it. Wow.

I love these pictures by Phil Poynter- such a great homage to fashion's best looks- particularly those of the 90s when I realized the potential of fashion upon first moving to this blessed city. And the issue takes a look back and lauds the more mature set like Jen Aniston and Jen Garner. I love this. Keep it up. Way up.

These pics, along with Amber's, have made their way to my internal mood board, and they're not coming down until I say so. Beauty all around. Let's hear it for a beautiful generation of women who refuse to be invisible. Lovely.

Cause that's what's up this fiftyish Friday in the 718. Yours, in magazine covers and ageless appeal. Oh, and redheads rule.  XO

From the pages of September Vogue: Everything I want to wear right here, right now

Good morning, Thursday. Hot as f and busy as f in NYC so I'll make this brief.

With the return of the 90s supermodel vibe in full swing (Amber, Helena, Kate, whoever else), I just have to say that despite my whirling dervish moment I'm having in the city with work, I have to take pause and celebrate Ms. Amber Valletta's story in the September issue of Vogue.

As women on the verge and wondering what (not) to wear, I give you these looks. Because they are perfect.

They are cool. Transcendent. Ageless. And overall- perfect. Just like Amber. What a beauty. It's crazy.

I love the fitted black dress with an oxford to keep it from veering too va va voom.

I love (and I do mean love) the black suit and sneakers with a slick of red lip.

I love the leather slouch of this shirtdress.

I love the rock and roll vibe of denim mixed with trench.

The khaki suit says do not, and I mean, do not fuck with me as I transition from Summer to Fall in the best of ways.

And maybe I'm not the only girl in town who has lusted after a Chanel jacket for most of her life. Perfection.

A camel coat? Yes. A faux fur coat too? Certainly. Why not throw in a Gucci mule. Why not?

And of course, an exceptional means business but ready to party plaid blazer with jeans. Strong.

These are all looks women of all ages can wear, and I adore them all. This is what I mean when I say I'm drawn to classic vs. preppy clothes. There is nowhere you could not go in these looks.  Truly what more could you want? For me, it would be nice to have a few prints thrown in for good measure, but I'd be pretty psyched to make this my Fall wardrobe.

So as you're assessing your wardrobe, think of pieces like these as the capsule of your collection. And lest you think I'm bad and bougie, know there are a million ways to get these looks for way less.  So get to googling. Also lest you think these looks are just for the skinny minnies, I beg to differ. I think women of all sizes could rock the hell out of these looks. Oh and the Rolex at the top of this post? Sure. Gimme that too.

Incidentally, photographed (Zoë Ghertner) and styled (Camilla Nickerson) by women. Naturally. More of that, please.  No tricks here, folks. Just great clothes and a fabulous woman. Bonus point for only featuring shoes made for walking, living, and loving. Let's hear it for comfort.

Cause that's what's up this hot in the city busy day but taking a moment to celebrate Amber because she is gorgeous and you are gorgeous and these clothes are gorgeous and hooray Fall kind of Thursday in the 212. Yours, in perfect clothes realness, honey. XO


Hey, ladies. Go easy this weekend. (And beyond).

Good afternoon, Friday. TGIF. Been a long week and happy for a little weekend getaway. I just wanted to share some thoughts from Ladyland this muggy afternoon.

Women are so hard on themselves. It doesn't matter how old you are.

Last weekend, I was in the Hamptons and overhead at lunch a group of four young women in their 20s opining over chopped salads. Since people in their 20s talk VERY LOUD these days, I heard every single thing they said. So much so that David and I became that couple who eats in silence, because we were both riveted to their conversation.

And that conversation was an endless dissection of diets and food. And whether they "deserved" ice cream after lunch. And Keto, and having to eat these weird crackers with everything (I've eaten them, full disclosure. They're awful). Each one of them talked about food and dieting and weight loss through the entire meal. One of them said a Diet Coke felt like a "treat". Each of them had on expensive workout clothes. Then the conversation turned to whether or not they were going to have "Turkey Tuesday". I don't know what that is but imagine it's slices of turkey, rolled up. No carbs, naturally. Then I watched one of the women house four sausages, in between bites of the diet crackers. It was absolutely obscene. They literally spoke of nothing else. 

Then last night I caught up with a few girlfriends. One had just turned 50. After a few cocktails, she looked around the table as if to brace herself to ask the question "Could you recommend a good plastic surgeon"? Um. Hmm. 

I'm not a woman who knows plastic surgeons, ps. I, of course, know who all the fancy ones are with Park Avenue addresses because one just knows. But I'm not one for botox or anything like that so not sure why she thought I would be the arbiter of such things. And further, I couldn't believe she was asking me this. This is a woman who pickles things. And gets her hands dirty. But somehow admits she's been watching too much "RHOBH" while spending far too much time alone in her remote country house. I honestly couldn't believe she was asking me this because a) it felt off brief and b) she looked absolutely fabulous. Glowy skin. Zero wrinkles. She was seeing stuff that wasn't there. But it's amazing what we see as women when we look in the mirror. 

And lest you think I'm anti-plastic surgery, I'm not. I just think women are way too tough on themselves- regardless of their ages. We have so many wins and accomplishments- for instance, my friend just landed her absolute dream job and even though she's probably happier than she's been, she's still unsatisfied somehow. 

Another friend of mine is single in her 40s and, after revealing she spent several thousand dollars as a plastic surgery pin cushion, told me "I don't' know what it's like out there for single women of a certain age". I'm glad I don't. I truly do. Because if I had to stick needles in my face to swipe left or right, I'd be bummed. I mean- I'm all for self-improvement, but I believe it's all completely out of control. This particular woman is a highly successful self-made person. She's spiritual, fit, and in wonderful health. She dresses beautifully and has a pretty incredible life story and she's sexy as hell. So why on Earth is she so fixated on her face? 

At a time when women are achieving so much and have been through so much and are threatened by so much, can we stop being so tough on ourselves when it comes to how we look? I have never been "perfect" so why would I expect to be at this age? Listen- talk to me in a few years. I may change my tune.  But I doubt it. 

Going into the weekend I wanted to share this post and ask all of us card-carrying females to hit pause on beating ourselves up and rejoice in how far we've all come. I'm not judging people who get surgery or botox or any of those things but don't go changin'. I love you just the way you are. And you should too.

Cause that's what's up this loving Friday in the 212. Yours, in keeping it real and taking it easy. XO


Are you cut out for freelance? Ask your network.

Good morning, Tuesday.  Cloudy and humid in New York. Thank the Lord for keratin treatments. Truly the best thing one can do to fight the frizz all Summer long.

So I haven't been talking too, too much about work lately but wanted to share a few thoughts on freelancing. As you all know, I've been at this freelance game for a while and have no interest in stopping. I like the lifestyle and although it's challenging and nail-biting at times, I enjoy it. But a word of caution for those who are thinking of going freelance- if you can't, off the top of your head, think of 10 people you can call and inquire about potential work, don't go freelance, you're not ready.

Because the most important thing about being a freelancer is the strength of your network. Back at the height of my production days, I was lucky enough to have worked at an incredible place for seven years, after which many of the friends I made there went to other places, and hired me to work with them when I was ready to freelance. It was a dream. Truly.

I've noticed that if you apply to gigs you find online, the rate of return is slim to none. I almost never hear back from gigs I hunt for online, even when the fit seems perfect. The odds are very slim you're going to get work by blindly answering an ad on Indeed. Or at least I have found that to be true. What really works is utilizing your network.  It is your biggest ace. You need to go deep into your brain and summon up the abundance by thinking of each and every person you know who may need your services, or at least direct you to someone else who can. Personal recommendations are a huge thing, by the way. Another great way into places you'd otherwise never find.  And I realize my years of production experience always had me in that connected mindset- having to call someone for something 24/7 became my normal, and it's never really left me.

 If you see a posting for a job, look closely and see if you know any people who either work at the place or if your extended network has connections there. It's really the only way. For instance, I found a recent gig through seeing a job posting and then noting that the person posting the gig was good friends with a few random friends from my early days in the city. I reached out and said we had good friends in common and I hoped we could connect. It worked. I got the gig.

We all know how powerful networking is. I think we often associate that term with something that requires a nametag and shaking hands with people in a ballroom at the Hilton, but it's far from that. Utilizing your people is a big part of this freelance hustle, and if you're not good at that, don't go there. 

At the same time, I had the unique challenge of creating a completely new network for myself as a writer. Since all of my ad contacts knew me as a producer, they wouldn't think of me for a writing project (ridiculous, and I've written endlessly on the topic), I had to find some new people to support me. I'm lucky I'm wired for connection. It's something I truly enjoy and I need to keep getting out there and meeting people. It's vital to survival when you're a lone wolf. Ah, the thrill of the hunt...

The freelance economy is certainly booming, but make sure you're cut out for it before you jump ship. And if anyone out there is looking to party with me and my words, have at it.  Thankfully I'm busy but always looking to expand my network. My hustle is boundless.

Cause that's what's up this socially inclined Tuesday in the 212. Yours, in connecting the dots and making a living. XO


Hold up. Is J.Crew great again?

Good morning, Monday. Quite the weekend.  I went to see Bryan Ferry Friday night amidst a sea of baby boomers and then off to the Hamptons on Saturday to see the opening of the Helen Frankenthaler show, more on that later in the week.  But as the weekend was winding down and I was perusing the interweb, I happened upon J.Crew. And let me say- it's been a minute or two since I've paused to look at anything they've been doing since Jena Lyons left. I know she was polarizing but I was and still am a big fan of her quirky style. But I digress.

Actually, if I'm being honest, I happened upon a J.Crew print dress that popped up in my feed last week and it gave me pause for its cuteness. And my further investigation led me down a J.Crew rabbit hole last night and dare I say- J.Crew may very well be back. Under the new design chops of Chris Benz (he's designing women and kids), he of Bill Blass fame, we may just have a hit on our hands.

So much to love under his tutelage. Here are ten pieces to buy right now, and that I'd wear here, there, and everywhere. Oh, and good news- seems like the sizing is fairly inclusive. These are things that I really love but plenty more to choose from on the site.

This pull-on slip skirt is divine. I love the petal pink and would wear this all the time with a pretty sweater like it's shown here. What a great transitional piece for Fall when you still want to show a bit of tan gam.

This little sweater/blazer is divine. And in my favorite print. Love how it's styled with double denim vibes.

These resin earrings give me major Rachel Comey vibes. Love 'em.

This blouse has such a great vibe. I honestly can't decide what color I want the most. I want them all truly. But that green.

And this long sweater blazer thing is gorgeous. I love how this is styled. So minimal chic for those concerned that J.Crew can feel too fussed up. Lovely.

This high necked tunic dress is totally Isabel Marant like but much more reasonable. Love it in black or bottle green.

This shirtwaist dress is very elegant and pretty/crisp as we wind down the Summer. 

 And the shoes. Holy merde. So many goodies.  I love these mules in white. 

And these fancy slingbacks are super duper chic. I would love them with rolled-up jeans, a blazer, and a tank or a dress with a full skirt.

And wouldn't you know I've been searching for the perfect, no-frills, nondescript tote to schlep from gig to gig with? I love this one from Rains. it's so good and easy and minimal. Perfect for the city.

I have said time and time again that although retail seems to be on the wane, good clothes are not. I believe strongly in the power of good clothes to transform a brand- and exciting stuff appears to be happening over at the Crew shop. Lovely. And bonus points for much of it being on sale.

Oh and that cheeky lippy sweater at the top of the post? Link to buy here. A shrunken cashmere cutie for $138 is kind of awesome.

Cause that's what's up this American classic of a Monday in the 212. Yours, in elevated basics and style standouts. XO